World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Belarus president Lukashenko has a right to reign forever

Citizens of Belarus have changed the national Constitution 

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko will have a right to run at forthcoming presidential election in the country. This is the outcome of the national referendum, which took place in Belarus on October 17th.

The Central Electoral Committee of Belarus said that the majority of voters, who took part in the referendum, allowed Alexander Lukashenko to become a presidential candidate at the coming election. About 75 percent of electors expressed the opinion at the polls of the Belarus capital, Minsk. The percentage in other regions of the country is much higher, the committee said.

The head of the national Central Electoral Committee, Lidia Ermoshina, said that the result of the referendum is extremely important for the stable situation in the country before the coming presidential election in 2006. Ermoshina also said that Alexander Lukashenko had been informed about the voting results. The turnout at the referendum made up 89.7 percent: 86.2 percent of voters expressed their positive attitude to Lukashenko's right to run in 2006.

The electors also approved an amendment to the Belarus Constitution, which excluded the line saying that one and the same person could not take the office of the president for more than two terms.

The parliamentary elections and the national referendum in Belarus had been considered successful already by 3:00 p.m. local time. The Central Electoral Committee did not register any serious incidents or violations during the voting.

Spokesmen for the united electoral headquarters of the Belarussian opposition, however, said that the election law of the country had been roughly violated during the referendum and the elections to the parliament on October 17th.

”We have registered numerous violations during the voting process. First and foremost, our observers were denied access to the polls,” Vladimir Labkovich from the Belarussian human rights center Vesna told RIA Novosti. Vintsuk Vyachorka, one of the opposition leaders, the chairman of the Belarussian people's front, claimed that the opposition did not have equal possibilities in agitation.

Echo of Moscow radio station said that voters were offered to carry out a tasting of beer and vodka free of charge. Such facts have been registered at certain polls in Minsk.